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MCEROTIC INTERVIEW

It's been four years since we last interviewed mcerotic here, during which time he has almost doubled the number of stories he has posted here, and risen to number four in our all-time favorite authors chart. Clearly, it was time we had another chat, but rather than simply fire a bunch of questions at Eroticstories' most popular male writer, I thought it would be more interesting to just sit down and talk... about writing, writers and, of course, erotica.

NM: The last time we spoke, ES was more or less the only place you'd ever published stories. With the explosion of self-publishing platforms, and of course the plethora of other websites, has that changed at all?

MC: No. I still only publish on eroticstories.com. I have posted the occasional story on literotica, but I find that website impossible to navigate, and I'm never even sure they have appeared. But you publish on Kindle and dead trees too. How successful has that been? How do you build an audience?

NM: I'm really happy with the way it's going, although I'll admit I'm a long way behind a lot of writers in terms of "building a brand" - I enjoy writing too much to spend all my time building an exciting blog; publicizing it; commenting on other people's blogs in the hope that their readers will come visit mine; there's a hundred different things that other writers have told me they do, and that's just for starters.

The strange thing is, I'm not convinced that blogs and blogging are necessarily the most effective tool. My biggest successes have been word of mouth - books that have either had no conventional reviews at all, but been talked about by a lot of people... Tonight at 8, about the late 1960s stag scene, for example, was mentioned a few times on a vintage erotica forum, and has one very well... Or which have had just one review in an influential journal. The Nympho Librarian was reviewed by The Paris Review and the sales just skyrocketed, even outselling books that I've written for "real" publishers.

So I think it's worth doing, but it has to be just one part of a bigger picture. Because in terms of actual reader feedback, I get far more here at ES than on any other platform. And that actually means more to me than most reviews.

MC: When I started writing here, I used to get okay scores, but I never thought I'd become one of the top authors on the site. In terms of favorites, I'm number four and you are number five. There are more than 6,500 authors on the site, although admittedly lots wrote one story ten years ago and then went away. But there is definitely an active group containing a lot of talented writers, and I feel proud to be up near the top. How about you?

NM: I'm the same. When I first started writing here... it was ten years ago, I'd just come out of a fairly bad relationship, but the guy I was with was the one who introduced me to the site. So I started writing here, I guess, as a form of revenge. Haha, look what you're missing. And immediately it felt not only as if I'd discovered a community that I wanted to become a part of, I felt welcome in it. Which, I've since learned, is very unusual in internet story sites - they can be very hard to break into, very bitchy about newcomers, very possessive about their favorite writers. ES readers... and authors... on the other hand, are some of the most welcoming, and encouraging people I've met. And I love it when someone writes to tell me how hard, or how wet, a story made them. For me, beyond anything else, knowing something I wrote had such an affect on someone... that's the best.

MC: There is no doubt that orgasms are the best reviews of erotic stories. But the things I really appreciate are when people tell me that they love all the writing, or that the dialog is wonderful, or that they love that there is a story line as well as sex scenes. I used not to have so much dialog in my stories, but now I think it is probably a strong point. You can convey a lot with dialog and a few words, especially in seduction or to fill in background. For example, in "Cabin Part 2," they discuss how the girls were growing up. I think that is much more powerful than just describing their background in a new paragraph at the start of the story. But I think you should answer that, too - beyond turning people on, what do you think are your strongest points?

NM: I love it when someone tells me a story made them feel as though they were in the room, not necessarily as a direct participant, but as a witness, because that is something I try to convey. I hate stories where everything happens at a distance... and I'm not just talking about erotica here. I want to feel involved; I want to smell the perfume, feel the wind, hear the music, whatever.

Too many writers - and this includes a lot of best selling authors - keep the reader at arm's length, as if they're worried you're going to get in the way of the action, start moving the furniture around, or tell the hero a joke at an inopportune moment.

But I think those things are important. I love it when I'm writing a story and something happens that I completely wasn't expecting. And on some strange and completely inexplicable, I think that's because I let the reader in, to whisper their own ideas into my character's ear. In fact that happened in my story "That Thing You Say You Like." I thought I had it completely planned out - and the right at the end, just when everything the story had been working up to was about to happen... something else happened instead. And I was just sitting there staring at my screen, going - "what the fuck?"

So, an open invitation to all of my fans. Come on in!

MC: Have you met any of your fans?

NM: One or two. Three if you count someone who I met first, and who then turned out to be an ES reader and fan. That was an interesting evening....

MC: Have you had sex with any of them?

NM: Yes, one. But as I said, we'd met first... and had sex first, too. What made me laugh is... and I hope, if he's reading this, he won't mind me mentioning it... the first thing he said when he found out who I was, was "but you haven't sucked me off yet!" And then sent the next ten minutes apologizing. How about you? Have you met any of your fans?

MC: One, and it's a funny story. I have this lesbian fan in Singapore, who once told me she would like a white fling. So the first story I wrote for her was "Asian Adventure, White Fling," about a straight white girl's first time with another girl. I created this character named Violet, based on what my friend told me about herself, and she called her my lesbian alter-ego.

Originally, I wrote it under mcerotic, but then I decided it would be fun to create a new persona, and write more stories in a similar vein.

NM: How did that go? I've tried a few stories written from the male point of view... in fact, the first ones I ever published here (which I took down long ago) were written as a guy, and I just couldn't get into them at all.

MC: My lesbian alter ego was about 70th on the favorite authors list, and on the point average scores, she was actually slightly higher than I am, so she was pretty successful in her own right. But just recently, I decided that I would put all my stories under one name, mcerotic.

NM: Does that mean the end of your lesbian alter-ego?

MC: No, don't worry, I'll still write some lesbian stories from time to time. So have you written any lesbian stories? I don't remember reading any. Or is that just not your thing?

NM: I've written a few... "Going Downton Abbey" was one, late last year. And the first story I ever had published in a print anthology was in "The Mammoth Book of Lesbian Erotica," back in 2007. I "experimented" a little in that direction when I was at college... and then a little more afterwards, haha, and every so often I get nostalgic. But we digress... you were going to tell us about meeting one of your fans....

MC: Yes, I met my Singapore friend when I had to go to there on business, and then she came to the US on business a couple of months ago, and we did the San Francisco tourist thing.

NM: It's interesting that you wrote a story specifically for a fan; it's something I enjoy doing, and like you, it usually comes from a chance remark someone makes in an e-mail, and it just strikes a storytelling chord.

MC: The character Michele, in the "Guest Services" stories, is another fan. She is now married and has a baby and - get this! She met her husband on a (French) erotic stories site.

NM: Wow, that's amazing! I loved the one where she met the rock star Mike Tungsten, by the way ("Guest Services: Tungsten")... the world needs more rock stars like that. Was he based on anyone or anything in particular? And will we hear more about him in the future?

MC: He wasn't really based on anything. I decided to create a rock star for another episode in the stories I set in the hotel in Montreal. I suppose that guy Gene Simmons from Kiss, the one with the long tongue, was part of the inspiration, and somehow "Tungsten" seemed like a rock-star type of name with a play on words with tongue. Then, having created him for that story, I decided to write more stories about him. Girls seem to love the idea of a really long tongue inside them.

NM: I'm not saying a word!

MC: I created a female star too, called Tiffany, who first appeared in "Duct Tape and Pink Panties" before she became a star, and then she also showed up at Michele's hotel. Maybe I should get them together. I'm sure Tiffany would love to get Mike's tongue in her Disney princess pussy.

NM: I've often wondered what it would be like to become a character in somebody else's story, just to see what they have me do. It could be interesting. But assuming that you are not secretly a top rock star, and just based Mike Tungsten on yourself, I do love the way you conjure these very believable characters out of thin air. You must be a great people-watcher.

MC: No, I'm not secretly a top rock star. Unfortunately. But I do try and create believable characters who have believable conversations, and have believable backgrounds. The most fun character I created recently was the girl with Asperger's syndrome, based on Penelope Trunk's blog (http://blog.penelopetrunk.com/) about what it is like to have sex with her.

I was also proud of the cast of characters in "Panties": the biker, the runner, the Indian mother and daughter, the tall Swedish blonde. All very different, some married, some virgin, some new to sex, one not had sex for fifteen years. Somehow that story got out of control ,and ended up being over 30,000 words long, although it is really a dozen different smaller stories, that are linked.

Which stories of yours contain recurring characters? Apart from yourself, I don't remember. I associate your stories more with the recurring theme of lots of oral sex.

NM: Yeah, I guess I'm the obvious recurring character. Without claiming that every story I write is based on something that actually happened, most are rooted in some form of reality, whether it's an actual event, or just something I hoped would happen, or thought might happen. But the Cousin Tom stories... two teenaged kids who aren't in fact, cousins, living in a small town in the Rockies... they're based on a couple I knew when I was growing up, but they quickly took on a life of their own, and I do intend returning to them sometime. Then there's a couple of girlfriends who recur in some of my stories... Lisa is one of them... who is a composite of several different people, but again has become a person in her own right.

As for the second part of your question,... it's funny, I was looking at the Oral Sex category on the menu the other day, and there are long periods of time when the only person posting stories in there is me. Come on people! Someone else have a go!

MC: You obviously love to both give and receive it right?

NM: Honestly... and I mean, if a law was passed saying I could only do one or the other at a time, I'd go with the giving. I've certainly had far more orgasms with a cock in my mouth than with a mouth on my pussy, which is why I always laugh when I hear guys complain they've never had an orgasm from oral sex. "That's okay, I'l have it for you."

MC: And whose cock is that on your profile picture?

NM: Long ago and far away.., I was on a business trip to England, which I combined with a week sightseeing in Rochester, Kent. I'm a huge Charles Dickens fan, and I just wanted to see all the places I'd been reading about for years. And I met this guy, he was a photographer for one of the postcard manufacturers, who did a spot of glamour photography on the side. And he persuaded me to "model" for him. And things just went a little further than I expected. Actually, I wrote a book about that trip, called What I Did On My Summer Vacation. And yes, he's in there. The final chapter.

What about you - there's not really any category that you regularly write in, but I have noticed a running theme of three-(and more) somes... and maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I often consider adultery to have a third person involved as well, in spirit at least. What do you like about these sort of situations?

MC: I've written several stories in which married women get seduced. People seem to love them, and they are fun to write. I have probably had more email about "Seducing Laura" than any other story, including some just recently... one about six months ago (from a girl called Laura!) and a recently married and very bored 22 year old who wished it were her (and she still keeps in touch).

I think the world of erotic stories is very stylized and compressed. If you wrote out everything that was in a real conversation, it would go on for pages and be very boring. The compression makes it intense. I don't think you can draw any moral conclusions from erotic stories, though. They are fantasy, and don't mean any more than girls fantasizing about being taken against their will, or stripping in a waterfront bar, means they really want to do that in real life. So fantasizing about adultery doesn't carry a moral message to me.

But you are right that I like to write about three or more-somes. If I'm writing a long multi-chapter story (like the recent "Panties"), then there are typically half-a-dozen characters, and it is fun to get them together in various combinations.

Usually my palette of characters has a mixture: married women, virgins, women who want to try something they never have, girls who want to try a girl, and so on. Once I've created the characters, it isn't too hard to think of fun things to do with them.

NM: How dominant a role do you think the male should take in situations like that? Even though you are clearly "in charge" in "The Cabin," for example, I notice that the girls are not at all submissive - especially Andy, the ex-tomboy. How important do you think definable roles are in erotica?

MC: I'm a guy, so I suppose most of my stories have the man (if there is one) being dominant. To me, a wimpy man who is completely dominated by the women isn't very erotic, although maybe some women especially would enjoy reading that.

Having said that, I try and make my female characters have some backbone and desires and occasionally take charge. Sometimes, it is just for a little bit of a scene, like in "Aspergers," when Janie takes off her panties having been told not to. I like making women be strong and submissive at the same time. It adds to the unpredictability which is one of the challenges in writing erotic stories. After all, it is no surprise that the characters are going to have sex, but there is plenty of room for surprises about how and when.

As you say, in "The Cabin," Andy is like that. In contrast, I made Kate super- submissive. She likes nothing more than to be tied up, and taken hard and used. One reason is that it is more fun to make the characters contrast, but also it makes it easier to write the story, since it is possible to have contrasting cuddly sex and rough sex in the same story. In fact, when I tied Kate on top of Andy, there were pretty much both kinds of sex in the same scene.

How about you? Since you are a woman, your women tend to be the "main" characters and usually seem to like to take control.

NM: That's a really good question, because it hits on something... To me, sucking a guy's cock is probably the most controlling thing a girl can do, and I mean that in a both a good way... lie back, let me take charge; and a bad one. "If I do this, then he'll definitely put up those shelves later."

Yes, you can role play a situation where he's the big tough guy come to ravish her face with his big ol' dick, and she's the spluttering, choking submissive. And that's fun. But never forget who has the teeth, who has the fingernails, who has his most sensitive and delicate parts literally in a vice! A guy getting his cock sucked is probably in the most vulnerable position he's ever been, which means the trust he is showing has to be absolute.

And I know a lot of guys - and women too - don't think about it like that. In fact, I often hear from women who are just "ewww, how can like doing that so much?" And I'm... "what's not to like? It feels good, it tastes good..." - a guy wanting his cock sucked is like a kitten wanting its tummy rubbed. And I love kittens.

MC: What is your favorite sort of setup for a story?

NM: Somebody... he's one of my oldest fans here, I love hearing from him... once said that he likes the way I treat every cock as if it's a brand new toy; like it's a surprise every time. And that's what I enjoy as well - two strangers, or at least, two people who never imagined something like that happening, thrust into a situation where it does. How about you? Which do you think is the most arousing - a scene between already-estabished lovers, or one involving total strangers?

MC: I think it depends on the story. To be erotic, there has to be something going on that shouldn't be going on, or something unexpected, something like that. A husband turning off the TV and then going to have sex with his wife may be how most sex actually takes place, but it is almost impossible to make a scene like that truly erotic.

Andy and "I" in "The Cabin" were total strangers, as were all the people in the "Guest Services" series in Montreal. "Seducing Laura" or "Nebraska" was people who knew each other. I like writing sort of coming-of-age stories, too; virgins discovering sex for the first time. Like "Aspergers," or some the early scenes in "Girls Next Door."

NM: You need the surprise element, I agree. But it also needs to be believable, which is an area that I often notice many writers struggling with - not only here at ES, but in print as well. The difference between a situation seeming "real", and one that plunges headlong into wild fantasy, purely to get the reader, and the writer, off. Not that that is always a bad thing (at least if its handled correctly), but do you think believability should be sacrificed for sheer erotic madness... or vice versa?

MC: I personally don't really find sex scenes where the characters don't have any motivation to have sex to be that interesting. I guess one thing I aim for in my stories is that the story would be plausible and would still be interesting if I completely toned down the sex, and made it soft-core.

NM: That's an interesting way of looking at it. Do you write much from personal experience?

MC: Unfortunately, most of my stories are completely fictional. I married relatively young (divorced now), and didn't have a wild time with hundreds of girls in exotic locations. Obviously, they are infused with my experiences of sex, but even the stories written in the first person are not autobiographical.

I've had plenty of good sex, some of it not so vanilla (out of doors, tying girls to my bed, anal, a threesome once), but no swinging, sex with an audience, extreme BDSM or whatever. Probably the oldest stories are the most "me," because when I started, I wrote them for my then-girlfriend and sometimes there were about us, although they were still fictional.

Some of the women in some of the stories are based on real people - usually someone I wrote the story for in the first place; sometimes ES fans; sometimes (at the time) girlfriends. Some girlfriends love to have erotic stories written about them, although a few thought it was a bit weird, as if it objectified them too much. What about you? Some of your stories are clearly autobiographical. And you, or a close analog of you, appear in many of them. Have you really been that wild?

NM: That's a tricky one. I've certainly not been with as many different guys in real life as I have in my stories. Nowhere close to that many. But a lot of the situations are real, and if they're not, they could have been. "Traffic," for instance. Yes, I've been stranded in town, missed the last bus, and found someone to take me home with them... but did I ever blow one of them on the highway, waiting for an accident to clear? No. I thought about it once, though, and that's what I wrote about.

"Bumpy Roads Are Best," on the other hand... yes, I did get picked up by a truck driver while hitch-hiking, and yes, I did fall asleep with my head on his lap. And yes, he did get an erection. You can guess the rest.

MC: So the "I" character in your stories is closer to you.

NM: I share her interests, haha. We have some hobbies in common. Like you, I rely more on my experiences of sex than actual events, and then layer on some wishful thinking, at the same time as remembering various past encounters... and somewhere in the midst of all that, there's a story idea. Straight autobiography with a liberal sprinkling of imagination.

NM: Can you just switch on the computer and write a story off the top of your head?

MC: No. I often come up with the basic ideas when I'm lying awake in bed, or driving. But I can't just sit down and write one if I haven't already had an idea of what is going to happen, and who the characters will be.

NM: And when you're deciding what is going to happen, do you put any limits on what you are willing to write about?

MC: I wouldn't put anything off-limits, other than protecting people's privacy. I don't use people's real names, unless they want me to.

NM: I was just looking back at the story ("Things To Do In Philly When It's Freezing") that I posted just after the last storm. Oops!

Thanks to mcerotic for taking part in this - please go read his stories, and if he's not already one of your favorite authors, then click the link on his profile, and he will be.

And look out for another conversation soon!

Please read MCEROTIC's stories!

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